Finding the road less traveled is a passion of mine, and in my personal and professional travels, I seek out experiences that are fresh and surprising.
That’s not to say I always travel to unknown destinations. There are discoveries to be made in tried-and-true places, too.
Napa, an obvious draw for me, is a perfect example. While I love iconic Napa experiences like tasting along the Silverado Trail, lunching on the patio at Auberge du Soleil, and hot-air ballooning over the vineyards, heading off the path and up the mountain roads of Napa is how I get my off-the-grid fix.
Whether you climb to the heights of Mount Veeder or venture up roads in the Howell Mountain, Diamond Mountain, Spring Mountain or Coombsville AVAs, you’ll find amazing tasting rooms and gems packed into nooks and crannies you’ve likely never explored.
CADE, Lakoya, Constant, Kuleto Estate…these are just a few of the incredible producers offering the kind of intense fruit for which the mountains of Napa have become known.
Rediscovering Napa is the focus of two features in this month’s issue. Contributing Editor Virginie Boone reveals the best experience-driven places in which to taste, sup and sleep throughout the valley. Steve Heimoff’s article outlines why Napa should be just as famed for its eclectic whites as it is for its robust reds.
Similarly, our wine-pairing guide to that warm-weather staple, the raw bar, offers unique approaches to the fresh seafood that so defines the season. Check out the mouthwatering combinations chosen by Lifestyle and Entertaining Editors Mike DeSimone and Jeff Jenssen.
Also in this issue, Italian Editor Kerin O’Keefe tackles the hot debate over subzones in Montalcino, home to Italy’s famed Brunello. Does understanding subzones help you choose a better bottle? O’Keefe talks to producers on both sides of the fence about why (or why not) knowing the GPS coordinates of the vineyard is vital.